Kinder-Flix :: Panic (1978)

A ways back somewhere on these pages I was talking about a story my older brother told me that I took as gospel and later found out was an urban legend. As per usual with such tales, there are a multitude of variations floating about one of which is captured in a short film from 1978 called PANIC. It’s directed by JAMES DEARDEN, the guy who wrote FATAL ATRACTION and from what I’ve heard, it was known to appear on the USA network and before features in UK cinemas. Why we’ve never received a traumafession for this one, I’ll never know so I thought I’d throw it up on the Kindertrauma wall hoping that some day somebody looking for it will find it here. Do you guys remember this story? A woman in a car picks up a stranded old lady. As they drive the woman starts to suspect that there is something not quite right about the oldster. The driver figures out a way to get the creepy stranger out of her car but she leaves behind a handbag. When the purse is opened it reveals…

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10 years ago

Oh man – thanks for posting these! I actually like them both! I totally remember seeing the original on USA when I was a teenager – and I ran across it again not too long ago and was so psyched to see it again – but I’d never seen the second version.

I like different things about each one. I totally dig the 70s action in the original – and I really like the build up in the car before the woman ditches the old lady – the way the old lady stares at her is so creepy. And in the 2nd one the build up isn’t as intense or creepy – but when she is about to kill the dude and laughs – that’s really creepy!

In the first one I really don’t care so much that the boyfriend gets killed – cause he’s kind of a dick – and in the second one he’s much nicer – so, even though you know what’s coming it seems a bit more dreadful.

And finally – I totally dig the subtlety of the death of the dude in the first one – it’s really creepy and cool – and the music is so great – but the second one is really pretty cool too. It was surprising and kinda startling to see the blood and whatnot.

Thanks so much for posting both!

10 years ago

I much prefer the first version… it has less extraneous junk, more mood… less intrusive soundtrack. I like how there is an long bit of the woman just driving through the darkness, alone. That sets up the mood of the thing nicely.
The ending of the first one is much creepier as well.

10 years ago

Finally! I wrote to you guys about ‘Panic’ as a Name That Trauma back in 2008:

Though your readers finally helped me to identify this short, at that time it was not uploaded anywhere for viewing, nor available to purchase. Now, at last, I can watch the whole thing again! Thanks everyone!